On Friday, June 12th, Christian Donis, 15, and his cousin Adam, 13, were skateboarding in Echo Park when they were hit by an SUV while crossing the road in an unmarked crosswalk. The boys were taken to the hospital where Christian, who sustained major injuries, was in critical condition. His cousin Adam sustained minor injuries and was listed as in stable condition. The driver did not stop at the scene, though a suspect was arrested on Saturday. The suspect was a 28-yer-old man from Tujunga, who was taken into custody by officers at the LAPD’s Olympic Station.
Neither of the boys were killed, though Christian was declared braindead on Sunday afternoon.
If the suspect is charged, it is likely that he will face violating California Penal Code 20001 VC Felony hit-and-run involving injury or death. Despite the name “felony hit-and-run,” 20001 VC is actually a wobbler that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Convictions under 20001 VC have two different sentences. The first is for hit-and-run accidents that cause injury, and the other is for hit-and-run accidents that cause serious injury or death. Those convicted of hit-and-run charges involving non-serious injuries face penalties that include fines between $1,000 and $10,000, up to 1-year in county jail (if the prosecutor decides to charge as a misdemeanor), 16-months to 3-years in California state prison and 2 points on the driving record.
If the hit-and-run includes permanent injury or death (as in the case above), the defendant faces the same penalties, except the possible prison sentence is increased to 5-years.